Okay #EatPrayLovers – Next Stop: INDIA
Let me put this out there right away – I am no yogi. I’m not into yoga or meditation, and I don’t practice either, so I really wasn’t sure about this section of the book, and whether I would enjoy it. It was slow going for me in the beginning, but then came Richard, from Texas, and my enjoyment of this section increased immensely. I may have found Elizabeth Gilbert somewhat annoying in this section, at times, and yet I can’t help but be impressed with her ability to completely embody the Ashram and everything that it could offer her, during the time she was there.
Personally, the idea of sitting and meditating quietly for hours at a time, seems almost painful to me. I know I could never do it. Maybe it’s because I question too much, and I don’t know what I truly believe, in an absolute way. Or maybe it’s because I have what the Buddhists call a “monkey mind”. Gilbert says,
“You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”
I really couldn’t agree more – she might as well be talking about me. I’m pretty sure my “monkey mind” would be the death of me at the Ashram.
Did I mention how much I loved Richard? Every time he opens his mouth, a gem falls out. I loved his attitude and his perspective. I found his idea of soul mates especially interesting,
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.”
I’m really fascinated by this line of thinking because it means that either my husband will need to hit the bricks soon, and make room for Colin, or he really isn’t my true soul mate. Luckily for me (and I guess, the husband), I don’t necessarily believe in the concept of soul mates, but that’s a whole other post.
Another passage that I found that I could relate to was this one, as said by Richard,
“If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind … Because if you can’t learn to master your thinking, you’re in deep trouble forever.”
This is SO true – I absolutely agree with every word. Instead of fighting the negative thoughts, you should accept that they exist, deal with them and then “dismiss” them. Obviously it’s a much more complicated process, and this is something I struggle with a lot, because I tend to be that person that keeps all of that inside, and what a relief it would be to not have to do that. There are so many factors that prevent me from being able to sit and really process those thoughts, in order to rid them from my head, and maybe that’s where daily meditation would really come in handy. See that’s where Gilbert is very lucky – she recognized her need to escape, she had the opportunity and she took it. She made the choice to give herself four months to completely devote herself to personal reflection and growth at an Ashram in India, and not many people get that chance. I envy that in her, and marvel at the same time.
I can really appreciate this section of the book for making me think about what it is I really believe in when it comes to relationships, self-understanding, inner peace and God. It’s most definitely a much heftier section then Italy was, and despite finding some of it “painful” to read, it is a memoir, so you definitely have to take that into account.
So, what did you think of India?? Are you reading along? Link up below!!